Ice filtered chicken stock

As noted in a recent post on excess salt in sauces, we have been getting frustrated with failure to buy decent stock, so decided to go back to making our own. I saw something on ice filtration in ‘Further adventures in search of perfection’ by Heston Blumenthal. It looked improbable, but we thought we’d give it a go. It involves making a stock, freezing it, then putting the frozen block in the fridge on a muslin sheet over a tray. The ice and gelatin in the stock filters the stock, and you get absolutely clear stock in the tray. Here’s the set-up just before it went into the fridge.

Ice filtering chicken stock

The end result was initially disappointing. There was a tiny amount of stock (really a chicken consomme) in the tray – probably half a cup in total. The block on top looked very similar to when it started. But, we thought we’d try the liquid, and it tasted absolutely fabulous. It was like super-intense chicken soup, packed with flavour. Certainly worth repeating, even if starting with four litres of water and getting maybe 100ml at the end feels wasteful. Next time we’re going to reduce the stock less before we start, so the frozen block is less gelatinous – hopefully we’ll get a little more out! In any case, it was fabulous either as a stock or consomme.

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6 Responses to Ice filtered chicken stock

  1. Billy says:

    Hi there,

    How much did you reduce the stock by to start with?

    I’m yet to try this ice filtration but have just made a chicken stock which i have not yet reduced at all as I simmered for about 4 hours with the lid on.

    It seems if making a soup from a chicken (quite a lot of meat left) carcass and some veg that this isnt the ideal thing to do but maybe just use it for some concentrated sauce recipes?


  2. Greg says:

    We reduced it a lot – too much in fact. We had about half a litre in the end, and there was so much geltin that I can’t believe that the stock we got out was all that was in the block.

    Next time I’m going to aim for about a litre, and refrigerate just to check it sets. I’m also tempted to try ice-cube bags, so that thee is more surface area to volume.

  3. bestbyfarr says:

    Sounds like a cool technique, I will give it a try. Here is another fun and easy way of clarifying with egg whites, great blog. Ryan

  4. chefdylan says:

    I am trying this technique at this very moment! My stock is not very reduced, I set aside a cupful so I could compare the result at the end. The cup of stock is barely set in the fridge so hoping for a lot of product at the end….

  5. There is obviously a lot to know about this. There are some good points here.

    I’m Out! 🙂

  6. You know Greg, If you wanted to you could bloom 3 sheet’s of gelatin per 500g of stock and set it that way so you don’t have to reduce the stock so much. Also, it is ESSENTIAL that you let the stock gel prior to freezing it. You might get higher yield in that way. I’m always torn as I consider the waste when I use this technique.

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